The Path To Experience.

Topic 10546 | Page 1

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Robert W.'s Comment
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I have lost my job of 25 years in the oil field. It's sad for sure but you must carry on. I have decided that procuring employment in the transportation industry suits my financial needs for the most part and fits well with my personal life as well. I have no illusions about driving a truck for a living. My father was a truck driver his whole life and I worked for Consolidated Freightways as a dock man from my sophomore year in High School until I graduated from SFASU with a degree in Forestry. With the aforementioned in mind, I respectfully submit that I have no practical experience driving trucks and have only recently obtained my class A CDL license. I paid for my training and truck rental out of my own pocket and have every endorsement commonly found on a class A CDL license. I still have no practical experience driving a truck. What would be the best pathway to experience? I applied online and received no less than 20 replies to join a OTR Transport company offering training programs with all sorts of options and training. Is this the only way to get started? I live in an area of Texas where their are many "day jobs" in trucking but they all require 1 to 2 years experience and Hazmat/Tanker is a plus due to the nature of business here. What can I do to break into trucking here at home and bypass the whole OTR experience and long term commitments to these OTR Transport companies? Is there something I could add to my resume or say that would help me find a job close to home? Now, I know what you're thinking. Like all seasoned professionals you're thinking "hey pal, suck it up and put in your time like I did". If necessary, I will, but not until I have researched all options. I've been away from home for near two decades now and not this 2 to 3 weeks at a time. Months away at a time seeing my family 4 or 5 times a year. There are too many jobs here in my own town that I would like to have, but that old "experience" thing keeps getting in the way. Any suggestions? Respectfully submitted.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Robert, welcome to the world of truck transportation. There are many career-changers in this business. ( Until 2014 I was a school teacher.)

Trucking Truth has tons of material for your edification. Have you checked out the Truck Driver's Career Guide of read Brett's Book?

You said you already have a CDL-A. In your job hunting, the code words you are looking for are "Recent Grads - they have a CDL but no experience. Apply to "everybody" through Apply For Truck Driving Jobs. Be on the lookout for hiring bonuses - these could pay you back for your school expenses.

Ask all your questions about companies and whatever here!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
I paid for my training and truck rental out of my own pocket and have every endorsement commonly found on a class A CDL license.

Hey Robert, Welcome aboard! It's nice to see a fellow "Lumber Jack" alumni in here!

I am curious, when you say you paid for your own training and truck rental, does that mean that you did this on your own without going through a truck driving school?

In this day and time you really need to have a certificate of training from a truck driving school that is recognized by the companies that are willing to hire inexperienced drivers. That training certificate is vital to getting the doors of employment opened up to you. Most folks just think if they have a CDL they can land a job, but as you are finding out, it is not that easy. Tell us a little more about how you obtained your Class A license and we will be able to help you get that first job.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Beth S.'s Comment
member avatar

Start applying everywhere. The market has dropped a bit, but there are still jobs. You might check with the temp agencies as well, they seem to be looking for drivers still. Lots of things still posted on Craigslist.

Zachary B.'s Comment
member avatar

Have you ever thought of a welfare program that may help you with the experience...I heard that works for some people

William C.'s Comment
member avatar

Have you ever thought of a welfare program that may help you with the experience...I heard that works for some people

What welfare program are you talking about I've never heard of a welfare program

Robert W.'s Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

I paid for my training and truck rental out of my own pocket and have every endorsement commonly found on a class A CDL license.

double-quotes-end.png

Hey Robert, Welcome aboard! It's nice to see a fellow "Lumber Jack" alumni in here!

I am curious, when you say you paid for your own training and truck rental, does that mean that you did this on your own without going through a truck driving school?

In this day and time you really need to have a certificate of training from a truck driving school that is recognized by the companies that are willing to hire inexperienced drivers. That training certificate is vital to getting the doors of employment opened up to you. Most folks just think if they have a CDL they can land a job, but as you are finding out, it is not that easy. Tell us a little more about how you obtained your Class A license and we will be able to help you get that first job.

I'll be horse whipped. Another Lumber Jack.

I should have been more clear on that point, I apologize. Yes, I did this on my own by paying for the usage of the truck and tutoring. I was correctly under the assumption that a truck driving school would be the only place to obtain practical experience and procure a job but I had my reasons for doing what I did. I went to the small college here in town and spoke with the instructor of the truck driving academy. After all of his "war stories" of truck driving lore, he commenced to tell me how smart he thought he was instead of explaining to me why I should go to school at the academy. This is a red flag for me and I decided to figure out all the "grey" areas of modern truck driving on my own instead of getting beat up in his class for two weeks while he gets around to really teaching something. That's kinda harsh I know, and all academics from basket weaving to neuroscience are pretty much the same. If this were any other position I would have folded and joined the class immediately but truck driving on the highways is a serious and dangerous job and I thought it best to do my own due diligence before I went to school. Now, here I am. I'm trying to find a company here that will train me for a job and I have only just started. I get a lot of "If it were 2 years ago we would have hired a one legged chicken with a CDL but not now, we'll think about it". I believe the best scenario would be to go to a OTR company and receive training and be done with it. Any suggestions?

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Greg M.'s Comment
member avatar

Have you looked at flatbed areas? What state are you located in?

Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty D's Comment
member avatar

What state are you located in?

Look at his profile and you would see he is located in Midland TX.

Ernie

Greg M.'s Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

What state are you located in?

double-quotes-end.png

Look at his profile and you would see he is located in Midland TX.

Ernie

Ok, thanks.

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